Community spirit alive in Hethersett

Community spirit is alive and well in Hethersett where hundreds of people enjoyed a family fun day organised by a bereaved father as a thank you to the village for its support during tragic times.

Shelley Crandell, who was 43 and from New Road, Hethersett, died from a brain haemorrhage at Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge, on October 5.

She had never been ill before and her husband Scott Crandell said at the time that the community had rallied round to support him and their two children.

As a way of celebrating her life and contribution to the community, he invited children from the village schools to Hethersett Village Hall for the fun day yesterday.

Mr Crandell said: 'I wanted to thank the community for all the kind words of support and help in the last few weeks.

'Shelley was such a community-oriented person that if this had happened to anyone else, she would have been the first person to offer help and support.

'Hethersett is a real community, partly because the three schools, the first, junior and senior, are all in the village, and people support each other.'

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Hundreds of villagers attended the event where the attractions included a disco, a children's entertainer, and a vintage fire engine with nibbles and drinks supplied by supermarkets Tesco and Waitrose.

Mr Crandell added: 'I was overwhelmed by how many people attended – probably a couple of hundred.

'I don't know how many mothers baked cakes for us.'

Among the people helping out was Caroline Gorman, from New Road, Hethersett, who said: 'Everybody knew Shelley as she was very involved in the community and always helped out at functions.

'Scott appreciates what the community has done for him and his children, and hats off to him for arranging it.'

Her friend Natalie Woods, from Great Melton Road, Hethersett. added that everyone had pulled together in the village since Shelley's death.

She said: 'The number of people here is a real reflection of Shelley and what she meant to the community.'

Meanwhile, ex-Norwich City footballer Robert Fleck organised five-a-side games at the event.

He said: 'Shelley was a family friend and it's a fantastic idea of Scott's to do this.'

Mark Miller, a retained fire-fighter at Hethersett, and Stuart Woodrow, who works in the fire service's workshop, were on hand with their fire engine to keep the youngsters happy.

Among the children enjoying the day were Callum McDonald, 10, and Dylan Williams, 12, both from Mulbarton, and the Lee brothers, William, 10, Cameron, 12, Henry, seven, and Josh, 14, also from Mulbarton.

The Lee brothers' mother Rachel added: 'It's a brilliant idea and the children wanted to get involved.'

Callum added: 'It's been a great day.'

Are you arranging an event for your community? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email